Value Engineering

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    HG Royston

    I’m new to the above topic. I’m struggling to understand the functional cost analysis process.
    I split a product into it’s components. I identify main functions of a product. But how do I work  out:
    1. cost of each component
    2. Work out what proportion of that cost goes to what function?!
    I have an example in front of me that says that “housing” in an electric kettle contributes 1.5 to the function “holding water” and .75 to the function “protects user”.???!!!!
    Greatly appreciate some help.



    In function Cost Worth analysis, you dont always have to take out the exact cost of each function of each component. Most of the times it is based on the judgement of the analyst.
    In your example of the Kettle, the housing has two functions described by youto be “holding water” and “protects user”. By what I imagine, it could also be to “protect user” and protect internal components” provided that the “water holding” function is done by some other container, and this container along with with the electrical apparatus that heats the water is placed in the housing.
    In that case, I could assign a value of 1 to both the above said functions (provided, the total value of the housing is 2).
    Hope you are not confused.



    Assigning value during VE projects is difficult in that many participants are forced out of their comfort zones.  This is partly do the one of the hidden benefits of VE studies.  This being that most functions can be accomplished in more than one manner. ( are forced into challenging every assumption with respect to value)
    If this was not true, value analysis would be easy.  (Part “A” has 1 function and the cost is X)
    So this forces the team to use best judgement to assign cost to the function(s) of each part.  Take a tea pot as an example.  If it is stainless due to strength (example only).  You could estimate the cost of the weight of SS and the cost of forming it to assign the cost of the function of “prevent explosion”.  Then, you would be able to decide through engineering knowledge if a different material could safely perform the same function.  Then you would derive the cost of the competing material in the same manner.  Assuming you choose multiple materials that can safely perform that function, you will be able to begin designing value into the part.
    This was very long winded, but I hope it has helped at least a little. 

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